After a game where the San Jose Sharks lost a five-goal lead and let the Los Angeles Kings score three goals in the third period, you have to wonder if the Kings have the momentum to overpower the Sharks going into Game 2.
The possibility is definitely there — not only to make up for such a loss, but to keep a chance open to continue in the series.
Kings captain Dustin Brown (a much hated member of the Los Angeles lineup from a Sharks perspective) said:
I think we weren’t ready to start. They got up to a 3-0 lead and sloppy play, turnovers, bad changes, odd-man rushes. We probably gave up more odd-man rushes in the first period than we have in the last … I don’t know. When you give a team like that opportunities on the odd-man, they’re going to make you pay, and that’s what they did.
The Sharks indeed played a physical game and it worked out for the best. But coming off such a loss, the Sharks must expect the Kings to be fighting back harder than ever. This series has all the potential to go to a game seven and I agree with what Sharks forward Raffi Torres has to say here:
We’re fooling ourselves if we think it’s going to be a quick series. Those guys know how to win. We know that they’re going to bounce back and come out flying. We got to be ready for them.
Exactly. There’s no room for the Sharks to get comfortable yet. Especially if they continue to play like they did in the third period, where the Kings outshot the Sharks 16-5. Giving up a five-goal lead cannot happen in a playoff level game.
The Sharks have gone back and studied what went wrong in the third. Here is Tommy Wingels perspective:
We’ve looked at clips where things we were doing in the first period, we were aggressive, and in the third we were not aggressive anymore. We paid for it. When you give them time and space with the puck and let them wind it up and come at you with speed, they’re going to have success.
Do the Kings have the momentum to win Game 2? Yes
Do the Sharks have what it takes to stay aggressive throughout three periods? Yes
If both teams can do just that, the series will continue to be epic.